After an international effort to attract new construction workers of all abilities to New Zealand, more than 13,000 professionals have applied for jobs here from overseas.
Thanks to backing by 20 of the big construction firms in New Zealand, LookSeeBuild was initially launched for the UK and United Arab Emirates job applicant markets, but soon candidates from the UK, South Africa, Singapore, and the Philippines began showing interest. All candidates are currently being screened before progressing to the next stage.
In January, the first batch of registered applicants will arrive in New Zealand to continue the process for 56,000 jobs that will come available in the next 10 years, 2200 of which are specialists like quantity surveyors. In February, more applications arrive and they’ll all get a taste of what New Zealand has to offer their personal lives, including surfing, sailing, fishing, and cycling sessions (in addition to going through more interviews, meeting with Immigration NZ, etc – it’s not all fun in the Kiwi sun).
Applications have to pay for their own trip to New Zealand, but those who get jobs have their airfare refunded by LookSeeBuild.
LookSeeBuild acknowledges the high quality of candidates it has had so far, including some who have worked on the world’s most prolific construction projects. Those include the one kilometre high Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (which will be the world’s tallest building when finished), Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, renewals of the London Underground, and London’s famed Shard building. "We will now have key talent with experience in mega-projects from every country on earth,” says LookSeeBuild’s construction consultant Aaron Muir.
Despite uncertainty within the industry around how much growth it has left to do, demand for suitably-skilled construction workers will still outweigh supply throughout 2018. Recruitment agency Hays says its not just those who land new jobs that are set to win: “With the construction industry working with the Government to attract construction professionals from overseas to New Zealand, construction sites will benefit from diversity of thought and new innovative ideas,” it argues.